Weight Loss Tied to Dairy and Protein
New research shows that certain dietary components can promote weight loss in women. In a Canadian study, overweight and obese women lost weight and gained muscle mass after combining exercise with a diet that was high in protein and dairy food.1
The ninety women participants were assigned to three different groups, each of which consumed a different amount of protein and dairy.
The women were observed for the Improving Diet, Exercise and Lifestyle (I.D.E.A.L.) for Women Study. The authors say, “We observed what we view as a highly beneficial profile of weight loss in the HPHD [high protein, high dairy] group: greater total fat and visceral fat losses, greater lean mass gains, and increases in strength despite identical body weight loss.”
Visceral fat is located inside the abdomen, and the high protein, high dairy group lost more of this fat than the other groups of women, say the scientists who observed them.2 According to the scientists, this same group gained muscle (lean mass) and strength after doing resistance exercise.1
They also note that the weight loss effect of dairy might be attributable to specific substances contained in dairy products. To back up this possibility, the scientists refer to a third-party study on weight loss and leucine: “The authors concluded that the additional effect observed with milk consumption likely related to other bioactive components such as the protein fraction rich in branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine)…”
The leucine study was written by scientists Donald K. Layman and Denise A. Walker. They conducted two weight loss trials in which some subjects were given a high-protein diet that was rich in leucine and other subjects were put on a high-carbohydrate diet.3
Layman and Walker found that the high-protein diet resulted in greater weight loss and more stable glucose levels.
So, a combination of dairy foods and exercise may be a good option for people who would like to begin a weight loss regimen.
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- Andrea R. Josse et al, “Increased Consumption of Dairy Foods and Protein during Diet- and Exercise-Induced Weight Loss Promotes Fat Mass Loss and Lean Mass Gain in Overweight and Obese Premenopausal Women,” The Journal of Nutrition.
- Mayo Clinic staff, “Belly Fat in Women: Taking — and keeping — It Off,” Mayo Clinic.
- Donald K. Layman and Denise A. Walker, “Potential Importance of Leucine in Treatment of Obesity and the Metabolic Syndrome,” The Journal of Nutrition.